Today, my guest is mystery author, J.R. (John) Lindermuth. So far, I’ve read two of his novels and I can’t say enough good things about them. Let’s learn more about the author of Fallen From Grace and The Limping Dog.
John, where did you grow up? Did your childhood contribute to your desire to be a writer?
I grew up in a small Pennsylvania town where I’ve come back to live again. Like many writers, I was an early reader. Our town didn’t even have a library until I was in high school. Fortunately, my dad had a good library, ranging from the classics to mysteries and westerns. My grandfather was more of an influence than I realized. Health problems forced him to an early retirement. As the only grandson, I spent much time with him, listening to his wealth of stories about the past, people he’d known and even some I’m sure he made up. I’m sure some of that rubbed off on me and contributed to my future efforts to pass on stories of my own.
Where do you live now? Do you use that locale for settings in your novels?
I’m back in the same house my parents bought just before I entered the second grade. As you might suspect, there’s a good deal of nostalgia associated with being here again. There’s also a certain romance to it, since legend asserts it was built by a man who rode with Buffalo Bill. I fancy he pops into my imagination and inspires some of my western tales.
What inspired you to write your most recent novel?
The seed for The Limping Dog was a remark by my son about the ever-changing world of computer technology. Photos and memories from an earlier visit to Cape Ann in Massachusetts provided the setting. The rest can be blamed on my imagination.
Did you plan to write a series before or after you wrote the first book?
I had no such plans with Sticks Hetrick or Sheriff Sylvester Tilghman. Apparently the characters did. Whiskey Creek Press will publish Practice To Deceive, fifth in the Hetrick series in August, and I’ve signed a contract with Oak Tree Press for Sooner Than Gold, second of the Tilghman books.
Name three of your favorite authors in the mystery genre.
Only three? Three long time favorites who don’t lack for publicity would be James Lee Burke, Ruth Rendell and Charles Willeford. There are so many new voices, though, and the list keeps growing. Some I particularly enjoy would include Wayne D. Dundee, Douglas Quinn, Margaret Blake and, oh, yeah, this new voice from Cincinnati—Patricia Gligor.
What are your favorite things to do when you’re not reading or writing?
Spending time with my kids and grandkids, walking, drawing (haven’t done much lately; just bought some new pens & ink), genealogy, watching movies, browsing at flea markets, visiting historic sites. I work three days a week as librarian of my county historical society, where I assist patrons with genealogy and research. I’m also secretary of the society’s board of directors and serve on the board of a local historical cemetery.
Do you like to travel? If so, what are some of your favorite places to go?
I’d love to do more if I had the money. As a kid stuck in one small rural corner of the world I dreamt of going around the world. I’ve managed a few on my own, but there’s so many other places I’d love to go (though my choices probably wouldn’t be on the agenda for the average tourist). I’d like to spend more time in Mexico and the Caribbean, go back and see the changes in Korea and Japan and I’ve always wanted to go to Africa (where we all started from).
How would you describe yourself personality wise?
The work I’ve done over the years has forced me to go against my nature, which is more shy and retiring. So I guess you might class me as a reluctant extrovert. Don’t get me wrong. I genuinely like people and enjoy being around them (most of the time). But I also need my solitude. Writing, drawing, walking—those are all solitary pursuits necessary to my well-being.
What’s your favorite color? Why?
Hmph, another hard choice. Because of my interest in art, I like many colors for different reasons. But, if I have to narrow it down, I’d say teal green because it reminds me of the woods in spring and summer and of the ocean.
How would you finish this sentence? If I won a million dollars, I would ------
See travel, above. Of course I’d also feel obligated to help my children.
Thanks so much for being with us today, John. Oh, and thanks for the compliment.
To read about and/or order J.R. Lindermuth’s novels go to: